I have a pretty decent collection of Copic markers which took me a few years to collect hidden in a box somewhere in my room, forgotten. Just recently, I dug them out and decided to give them a go again.
I remember colouring with the markers was very enjoyable. As it’s been quite some time since I used the markers last. I decided to go through the basics again to refresh my memories. In this post, I will be talking about the basic things you need to take note of when first starting using these markers.
What are they?
Copic markers are known to be the best quality alcohol markers on the market. They are free of toxic chemicals and nasty smells, thus are preferred than other marker brands. They are used in comics, manga, illustration, design, crafting and more
The first Copic marker, which was the classic marker, was produced in 1987 in Japan by Izumiya, now known as the TooMarker Products. They were specially made for designers. At that time, there were only 71 colours. As time went on, more colours were added to the classic markers. In the 1990s, different products were released such as the sketch, ciao, airbrush systems and multi-liners. From then on, even more colours and products were introduced for artists of all sorts to enjoy their marker experience more. eg: paper, collection app, different coloured liners etc.
Types of Copic markers
- Has the widest range of colours available, 358 of them.
- Has a brush nib at one end and a broad nib at the other.
- Has an oval barrel to prevent it from rolling around and is comfortable to hold.
- Available in 180 different colours
- A cheaper alternative to the sketch markers, but holds less ink than the sketch markers
- Like the sketch, it also has a brush nib and a broad nib at the tips
- Has a round barrel, it has a slight bump on the cap but is still prone to rolling about.
- The original classic marker is available in 214 colours
- Contains the most ink compared to the other types of markers
- Has a broad nib and a fine point nib at the tips
- Has a square barrel.
- Only has 36 colours
- Has a 3/4 inch wide nib at one end.
- Has a flat barrel
Understanding the colouring system will help you pick your colours easier. It is also important for beginners when they first start collecting colours. As the markers are pretty expensive, it is recommended to buy colours that are used the most and not buy colours that are rarely used, thus saving you some precious money. Starting colours vary depending on the kind of drawing you’re planning to create. The colouring system also lets you organise and manage your colours easily as well. For example, if you draw faces most of the time, you will be collecting lots of skin colour markers.
On each marker, there is a name for the colour and letters followed by numbers as shown below:
The letters tell you which colour family the marker belong to.
B = blue, G = green, R = red, Y = yellow, V = violet, E = earth and their combinations such as BG = blue green, RV = red violet etc.
C = cool grey, T = Toner grey, N = Neutral grey, W = Warm grey
Contains 8 different fluorescent colours
There are usually 2 numbers after the letters.
The first number represents the saturation of the colour, as known as the purity of the colour. 0 being the most saturated and 9 being the least saturated.
The second number represents the brightness of the colour. 0 being the brightest and 9 being the darkest.
The colourless blender
The colourless blender, as the name suggests, has no colour. It is used to fix mistakes such as bleeding of colours and used for various colouring techniques.
Before you start colouring away, you should be aware of the type of paper you are using. Using Copic markers on certain kind of paper may lead to colour bleeding, ink wastage and you won’t be able to use them to their full ability.
Different kinds of paper will produce different kinds of results. For example, watercolour paper will suck your marker dry very quickly and it will be difficult to blend the colours. Paper with rough surfaces may damage the marker nib if not careful.
Another thing to watch out for is the pen you use if you plan to line your artwork before colouring in with the markers. Some pens may need time for the ink to dry before colouring or else the lines may smudge. I suggest testing out your pens on a piece of paper and run a marker over the pen lines a few times to see if it smudges. Of course, different paper may affect the time it takes to dry the ink and the degree in which the lines smudges when coloured over.
Nib replacements and ink refills
Don’t you just hate it when your pen or markers run out of ink or when the tip/ nibs are damaged? Well lucky for you, the nibs of the markers can be replaced. So instead of buying a new marker, you can just replace the nib and not waste any remaining ink in the marker with the damaged nib.
Refills are available for the markers too. One bottle of refill only cost around twice the price as a marker and it can refill the marker several times!
So these are the basic information you need to know when starting with this medium. In the future, I will be posting more detailed posts on topics related to Copic markers, such as how to choose colours, blending techniques, and more!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post.
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